Saudi Arabia increased its production by 50,000 b/d in May to 9.71mn b/d, maintaining a seasonal uptick in output as its summer peak domestic demand season dawned. The rise in Saudi output took total OPEC production to 29.91mn b/d for May, according to a MEES survey of OPEC output. This is just short of the 30mn b/d target that has been in place since January 2012 and compares with total output by all 12 members of 29.76mn b/d in April. The unofficial ceiling was renewed again on 11 June, when OPEC ministers met in Vienna to review output policy for the second half of the year.

The producers’ club maintained the production target, which it believes roughly matches the call on OPEC oil for the rest of the year. The West’s oil consumer watchdog the International Energy Agency (IEA), however, says OPEC needs to raise production in the third quarter to meet global oil demand. “In order to balance forecast demand, OPEC countries would need to hike third quarter production by another 900,000 b/d from April levels,” the IEA said recently. (CONTINUED - 855 WORDS)